An Exceptional Collection of Albert Einstein Writings to be Auctioned by Profiles in History on June 11
(Los Angeles) (May 13, 2015)—A one-of-a-kind compilation of rare and intimate letters from Albert Einstein are set to be auctioned at Profiles in History’s Historical Document Auction on June 11th, 2015. This is one of the largest collections of Einstein letters to ever be offered at auction.
The assemblage of over 25 lots of documents and memorabilia encompasses personal handwritten autograph letters from Einstein to his family including sons Hans Albert Einstein and Eduard Einstein, and his ex-wife Mileva Mari? in addition to others revealing his innermost thoughts (and theories) on the Atomic Bomb, Relativity Theory, his impactful ideas on God and religion, McCarthy hearings in addition to a highly notable letter stating he will “not be returning to Germany, perhaps never again…” once Hitler reached power.
“We have amassed an extremely magnificent group of personal and profound handwritten Einstein letters covering a vast amount of subject matter”, said Joseph Maddalena, President and CEO of Profiles in History. “These letters depict his innermost views, offering intriguing content as only Einstein can, this collection is an embodiment of the physicist life’s work.”
God and Religion:
- Leading the collection are two substantially significant letters regarding Einstein’s thoughts on God and religion. The first, letter in English of July 1945, to Mr. Guy H. Raner Jr. states
“From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist… It is always misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with these outside of the human sphere—childish analogies.”
Einstein was raised by secular Jewish parents and, by his own description; he was an agnostic, an atheist and religious. His vocabulary, however, was ecclesiastical, and his pursuit of discovery, reverential. What interested Einstein were the laws which governed order and harmony in the universal design—“God’s thoughts,” he called them. A personal God, as compared to his cosmic one, simply did not make logical sense, and he thought it was “childish.” Einstein’s God revealed himself in the infinitely marvelous structure of the world—atomic and stellar—as far as human thought could grasp it; what He was not, however, was concerned with the fate and actions of men. That task, Einstein believed, was man’s alone. A pre-auction estimate has been set at $15,000+.
- Four years later, in a second letter, Einstein wrote Raner (Ensign Guy H. Raner, Jr.) again on September 28, 1949 reiterating his disbelief in a personal God as a childlike notion, but disparaging atheism and declaring himself agnostic. He states:
“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one… I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”
Einstein rejects a personal God, but denies atheism, referring to himself as an agnostic, preferring an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. Pre-auction estimate is $15,000+.
- Less than a month following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Einstein writes a letter to his son, Hans, discussing the connection between his Special Relativity Theory and the Atomic Bomb, on his “holy grail” Unified Field Theory, stating he is probably too old to develop it into tangible results. The letter, dated September 1945, is expected to procure $40,000+ at the Profiles in History Historical Documents auction.
- As German anti-semitism and Nazi deaths threats grew, Einstein was forced to consider a move from Germany, and in November 1923 wrote a letter to his children pondering giving up his position in Germany (at the Prussian Academy of Sciences) and discusses German politics and the Jewish people. The letter is pre-estimated at $20,000+. Writing:
“I’m sitting here quietly in Holland after I was informed that there are certain people in Germany who are after me as a “Jewish Holy Man” In Stuttgart, they even had a billboard where I was ranked first among the richest Jews…. have been thinking about giving up my position in Germany altogether but I am not doing that because it would be morally damaging to the German intellectuals…”
- A letter in March of 1933, written in German to his son Eduard, that he was renouncing his German citizenship, stating:
“For the time being, I will not be returning to Germany, perhaps never again. I think of you very often: maybe I can visit you in person soon;….”
The letter has a pre-auction estimate of $20,000+
- A personal letter to Einstein’s ex-wife, Mileva Maric, regarding Hans’ prospective marriage, followed by writings on his unhappiness with the “thorny” state of theoretical physics despite the success of his Relativity Theory, stating:
“The Relativity Theory has now been experimentally proven, but the issue of the connection of gravitation and electricity is shipwrecked, at least in my opinion. Theoretical physics is currently enormously thorny.”
The letter has a pre-auction estimate of $30,000+.
- Einstein’s important collaboration with his Berlin assistant, Walther Mayer, the Viennese mathematician who published valuable contributions to the General Theory of Relativity. The two page leaf features Albert Einstein’s handwritten numerous mathematical equations and notations. In addition, the verso features three lines of equations by Einstein. ($15,000+)
“I believe I see a new possibility, which promises success. It is along the lines of the recently devised way, according to which one places ‘zero’ on the right side of the Dirac-Equations. The novelty is in the fact that the constants a1 ... a4 (aside from a totally irrelevant factor) are completely known without passing on to the specific Semi-Vectors.”
- Two astounding personal letters on his thoughts on “McCarthyism” are being offered in the auction, both on blind-stamped letterhead stationery, “A. Einstein, 112 Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.” The first, signed and dated 18 July 1953, to Mr. Edwin B. Lindsay, Albert Einstein comments on the parallels between the McCarthy hearings and the rise of Hitler to power.
“It is nothing less than a systematic move to destroy the political rights of the individual in favor of the unbridled rule of a reckless and adventurous political group, subsidized by big industry. This is the analogy between the present happenings in our country and the events in Germany which brought about Hitler’s dictatorship."
- The second, addressed to Lt. J.G. Guy H. Raner, Jr. addresses his lack of hope that the world of academia can combat “McCarthyism” with enlightening books. (10,000+)
“…teachers have become still more dependent than before because one has succeeded to make the people believe in a so-called ‘red danger’. We can hope for a turn to the better only if the idea of world-government is strengthened…If people do not feel themselves threatened anymore from without they will feel more inclined to defend their freedoms.”
Additional Key Documents to be offered include:
- Einstein’s autograph letter to his son, Eduard, signed in German giving his opinion on Sigmund Freud after his son receives psychoanalyst’s lectures from Vienna. ($15,000+)
- Einstein’s autograph letter signed in German in 1920 to his family “My loved Ones”, giving stern financial and professional advice to his family while complaining about supporting their reckless choices with his income. ($8,000+)
- Signed Einstein autograph letter written to his son Hans, about his enthusiasm for science and mathematics, promising to send him pretty problems to solve. ($8,000+)
- Autograph poem signed, on It is the art of life….($4,000+)
- Extra-illustrated 1924 autograph letter signed in German written to Einstein’s Uncle Caesar Koch on his 70th birthday, recalling his childhood gift of a “little steam engine.” ($15,000+)
- Einstein writes philosophically to his son Eduard about what it means to be young, discussing in detail the value of intellectual creations. ($10,000+)
- Einstein writes a touching letter to Dr. Eugenie Anderman of New York City in June of 1953 of encouragement to a friend upon the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. ($10,000+)
Qualified bidders can participate in person, by telephone, submit absentee bids or participate online in real time from anywhere with Internet access across the globe. For more information, please visit www.profilesinhistory.com.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Location: Profiles in History Offices
26662 Agoura Road, Calabasas, CA 91302; Phone: 310-859-7701
About Profiles In History: Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the nation’s leading dealer of guaranteed-authentic original historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts and original Hollywood Memorabilia. www.profilesinhistory.com.